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Don't Let Web Design ASPeeve You Off

Wayne Klapwyk
Expert Author
Published: 2006-08-01

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There are numerous sites that contain various articles and tutorials that can explain and teach everything from basic ASP to advanced dynamic manipulation of internet information and user interfaces.

In this article we will introduce several positives and negatives of using this new language framework and hopefully dispel some of the mysteries hidden in Microsoft's ASP language.

Just over 10 years ago Microsoft poured money, time and considerable expertise into the development of an online framework that would launch it into the forefront of the, then, newest rising technology market, the internet. While many initially jumped onto the big 'M' bandwagon hoping to capitalize on the promised power of this new initiative, many more chose a more cautious 'wait-and-see' approach. Many of these companies are now adopting ASPs in various situations where it is best suited rather than using it for all their internet development needs.

Microsoft's initiative has produced a strong, robust framework for many web design circumstances. However, it does have a number of drawbacks. Chiefly, ASP sites are often not well suited to very high volumes of traffic due to comparatively large code requirements, numerous browser compatibilities issues and the requirement of Microsoft specific tools to serve up ASP pages and, in the case of more complex functions, may require special applications to develop and/or maintain the pages.

This may sound like an argument against using the ASP language in the design and development of an internet presence. In actuality, the ASP language is extremely well suited to quickly develop most small and medium sized personal and corporate web sites. The language itself can be characterized as an extension of the Microsoft Visual Basic PC based language which many consider to be one of the easiest to learn and use. As such it is an extremely simple framework for anyone to learn quickly and become highly proficient with. ASPs can also natively plug into Microsoft robust Internet Information Server (IIS) and by extension utilize ODBC, ADO and DAO to access numerous other connectivity technologies and databases.

One of the greatest advantages of building ASP-based websites is the speed at which development can be completed. Microsoft developed ASP with the Visual Studio development platform in mind. Visual Studio provides all the tools, extensions and add-ons to produce exceptionally clean and fast web pages with advanced functions and templates. It also provides the ability to preview your development without requiring an ASP preprocessor or server.

Microsoft continues to forward the development of the ASP language and has included it in their 'next generation' framework known as .NET (Dot Net). This is a complex framework with strict programming rules that can be used to create highly robust applications, programs, web pages and database utilities. Microsoft defines .NET as "the Microsoft Web services strategy to connect information, people, systems, and devices through software." It does this by exposing a number of web services that can be exploited to create rich, highly functional application by connecting backend programs and functions which can be written in alternate languages (most often Microsoft specific languages) to the internet through standard internet technologies like XML, SOAP and HTML. If you are already familiar with .NET then you will be familiar with the advantages of this framework. Otherwise you may wish to investigate it more thoroughly on the Microsoft .NET website. For more information on Microsoft .NET - Click Here -.

For the purposes of internet site development ASP provides an excellent platform from which to create full, rich, dynamic websites for all smaller or medium sized personal or business needs. Because of the requirement of Microsoft specific Servers and a relatively large ASP code base required to serve dynamic pages the scalability and speed of execution make ASP coded sites to not fit all situations. However, with the proper evaluation of web presence needs, the ASP language can be a valuable development tool in the creation of most web sites.

Other Resources:

The ASP Resource Index - http://www.aspin.com- Provides a very complete set of resources for development in ASP

Genusa.Com - http://www.activeserverpages.com/genusa- Portal site listing over 140 other ASP resource web sites

4guysfromrolla.com - http://www.4guysfromrolla.com - Hosts numerous articles, tutorials and programmer forum boards


If you don't wish to use the Microsoft specific Visual Studio you may utilize any number of third party development tools, many of which are marketed free for personal use, to quickly create ASP websites. For example, Yes Software (http://www.yessoftware.com) has created the Code Charge Studio for the rapid development of web pages, sites, and applications for a very reasonable rate.. It allows the creation of pages in numerous languages including ASP, PHP, JSP, C# and PERL. As well, it provides a very rich set of extensions, frameworks, templates and database tools to meet every development requirement. A downloadable 20 day fully featured demo version is available for evaluation purposes.

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About the Author:
Programming for over 10 years, Wayne Klapwyk has worked on various systems including IBM AS/400, PCs and Apple Macs. Over the last 8 years his focus has more and more turned to the web developing sites and applications in HTML, ASP and PHP. He is an integral member of the WebProNews RSS Feed

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